It was the oily footprints going across the kitchen floor that started me scrubbing it- the old school way. The only way I used to do it as my mother hovered over, scolding when an errant swipe of mine missed the sticky spot she could see.
Someone had cooked something on the stove, spraying "Pam" into the pan to prevent sticking. But they sprayed not just the pan, but somehow, the floor and every other surface of the kitchen. Oily footprints abound everywhere.
I scrub and scrub. And with each swipe I grew more out of breath. I end up leaving squares, to go and pick up another less daunting task and then come back to do more, till finally it is done.
The sense of accomplishment fills me. I am conquering something. I am scratching something off my list. Done. Finished. Completed.
And so my day goes. My "free" day of no clinic appointments. Open for me to catch up on all the things left undone the last 3 weeks. Washing sheets for the beds. Vacuuming the dog hair from the carpet. Finding the kitchen table, lying buried with the remnants of our busy days- stacks of thank you notes half written, graded spelling tests, days of newspapers, and old clumps of hockey tape.
I work and work. With Mumford and Sons playing "I will wait,"in the background and the words forming in my head for the email I want to compose for a friend, grieving the worst kind of loss, the loss of her daughter. How can anything I say help soothe that, or make sense of that? My prayers for her are just that she can do 1 day plus, plus 1 day, plus 1 day- and some days- 1 hour, plus 1 hour, plus 1 minute to the next.
As I listen to the music, the words of Dr. Panwalkar are also replaying in my head. "What is next, Vicky? Does Shelby have something for you?" He isn't referring to cancer, or treatment. But me.
And I shake my head side to side. Pondering myself… what is next? What am I meant to do next?
I'm open… waiting. Wondering.
I'm spent by late afternoon. I concede defeat, and stumble into bed, knowing, I may not be up and around the rest of the night. The fatigue numbs my head, balls up in my back springing aches up and down, and renders me motionless.
A few things done… many more only partly done… so much left to do. Will I ever be able to do it all again?
Its late. The boys are home from a long night of hockey practice and Rick is in the back printing room working long into the night. Always, he is working.
Then I hear a commotion. I need to make the bed with the clean sheets anyway, so I finally force myself up to the kitchen to see what the noise is about.
Its Colton, vomiting, all over my clean kitchen floor. Everywhere, covered, again with stink and mess.
I hurry him off to the bathroom.
Gather my gloves, my floor soap, my rags, still drying on the sink.
And beging scrubbing my floor again.
"Normal day… let me be aware the treasure you are."